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Stereoscopic image, multi-view image, and depth image acquisition apparatus and control method thereof

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Title: Stereoscopic image, multi-view image, and depth image acquisition apparatus and control method thereof.
Abstract: Provided is a camera apparatus, including: a camera unit including at least two cameras to acquire a stereoscopic image; a camera control unit to adjust a view angle of the at least two cameras and an interval between the at least two cameras; a depth information obtainment unit to obtain depth information from the stereoscopic image; and an intermediate image generator to generate an intermediate image based on the stereoscopic image and the depth information. ...


USPTO Applicaton #: #20110149031 - Class: 348 43 (USPTO) - 06/23/11 - Class 348 


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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20110149031, Stereoscopic image, multi-view image, and depth image acquisition apparatus and control method thereof.

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CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims the benefit of Korean Patent Application No. 10-2009-0128125, filed on Dec. 21, 2009, in the Korean Intellectual Property Office, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to an image acquisition apparatus and method, and more particularly, to a camera apparatus that may acquire a stereoscopic image, a multi-view image, and a depth image, and a method of controlling the camera apparatus.

2. Description of the Related Art

An existing stereo camera apparatus or a multi-view camera apparatus can acquire images from two viewpoints such as a left viewpoint and a right viewpoint, or from at least three viewpoints. In general, the stereo camera apparatus can acquire a left image and a right image by installing a left camera and a right camera based on a horizontal axis or as a convergence type.

The multi-view camera apparatus may acquire an image by installing cameras for at least three viewpoints, and thus may acquire images from multiple viewpoints.

However, since rectification between cameras is not easily performed and a scale of a camera system is larger than a conventional camera system, changing a location of a camera becomes inconvenient.

SUMMARY

An aspect of the present invention provides a camera apparatus that may acquire a stereoscopic image, a multi-view image, and a depth image by adding, to a stereo camera, a depth information generation function and an intermediate image generation function, and a method of controlling the camera apparatus.

Another aspect of the present invention also provides a camera apparatus that may combine a stereoscopic image and a multi-view image and also combine a single color image and a depth image or a multi-color image and a depth image using a depth image generation function, and a method of controlling the camera apparatus.

According to an aspect of the present invention, there is provided a camera apparatus, including: a camera unit including at least two cameras to acquire a stereoscopic image; a camera control unit to adjust a view angle of the at least two cameras and an interval between the at least two cameras; a depth information obtainment unit to obtain depth information from the stereoscopic image; and an intermediate image generator to generate an intermediate image based on the stereoscopic image and the depth information.

According to another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a camera apparatus, including: a camera unit to acquire a stereoscopic image and a depth image; a camera control unit to adjust a view angle of the camera unit and an interval of the camera unit; and an intermediate image generator to generate an intermediate image using the stereoscopic image and the depth image.

According to still another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a method of controlling a camera apparatus, including: photographing a stereo motion picture by adjusting a view angle of a stereo camera and an interval between an object and the stereo camera; storing a stereoscopic image for each frame by matching a synchronization of the stereo motion picture; performing post-processing with respect to the stereoscopic image; obtaining depth information from the post-processed stereoscopic image; and generating an intermediate image using the post-processed stereoscopic image and the depth information.

According to yet another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a method of controlling a camera apparatus, the method including: photographing a stereoscopic image and a depth image; storing a stereoscopic image for each frame by matching a synchronization between the stereoscopic image and the depth image; and generating an intermediate image using the stored stereoscopic image and the depth image.

EFFECT

According to embodiments of the present invention, it is possible to acquire a stereoscopic image and a multi-view image together or selectively, which is different from an existing stereo camera or a multi-view camera that may acquire only one of the stereoscopic image and the multi-view image.

Also, according to embodiments of the present invention, it is possible to acquire a video image and a depth image of a corresponding viewpoint. Accordingly, it is possible to variously employ a stereoscopic image and a multi-view image for a three-dimensional (3D) TV broadcasting service and the like.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

These and/or other aspects, features, and advantages of the invention will become apparent and more readily appreciated from the following description of exemplary embodiments, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings of which:

FIG. 1 is a block diagram illustrating a configuration of a camera apparatus according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a diagram illustrating a configuration of a camera unit according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a block diagram illustrating a configuration of a camera apparatus according to another embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 4 is a diagram illustrating a configuration of a camera unit according to another embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 5 is a diagram illustrating a configuration of a camera unit according to still another embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 6 is a flowchart illustrating a method of controlling a camera apparatus according to an embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 7 is a flowchart illustrating a method of controlling a camera apparatus according to another embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Reference will now be made in detail to exemplary embodiments of the present invention, examples of which are illustrated in the accompanying drawings, wherein like reference numerals refer to the like elements throughout. Exemplary embodiments are described below to explain the present invention by referring to the figures.

FIG. 1 is a block diagram illustrating a configuration of a camera apparatus according to an embodiment of the present invention.

Referring to FIG. 1, the camera apparatus may include a camera unit 110, a camera control unit 120, a depth information obtainment unit 160, and an intermediate image generator 170. The camera apparatus may further include a synchronizer 130, a storage unit 140, and a post-processor 150.

The camera unit 110 may include at least two cameras to acquire a stereoscopic image.

A configuration of the camera unit 110 will be further described with reference to FIG. 2.

FIG. 2 is a diagram illustrating a configuration of a camera unit according to an embodiment of the present invention.

Referring to FIG. 2, to generate a stereoscopic image, a multi-view image, and a depth image using a single camera apparatus, the camera unit may include at least two cameras, for example, cameras 210 and 230 and a beam splitter 250 to split light provided to the two cameras 210 and 230.

In this instance, to decrease an interval between the two cameras 210 and 230, the two cameras 210 and 230 may be vertically disposed with respect to each other as shown in FIG. 2. Each of the cameras 210 and 230 may acquire the stereoscopic image using light transmitted or reflected via the beam splitter 250.

According to a camera installation scheme, the camera unit 110 may be installed so that at least two cameras may be disposed to have the same height and to be in parallel.

The camera control unit 120 may acquire an optimal stereoscopic image by adjusting a view angle of the least two cameras and an interval between the at least two cameras, and by performing rectification of acquired stereoscopic images.

The synchronizer 130 may synchronize the at least two cameras so as to acquire a synchronized stereoscopic image.

The storage unit 140 may store the stereoscopic image acquired by each of the at least two stereo cameras. The storage unit 140 may also store a depth image or depth information acquired from the depth information obtainment unit 160, and an intermediate image generated by the intermediate image generator 170.

According to an embodiment, the camera unit 110 may include a depth camera. The storage unit 140 may store a depth image or depth information acquired by the depth camera, a depth image or depth information acquired according to image processing such as stereo matching and the like, an enhanced depth image or depth image acquired according to stereo matching using a depth image of the depth camera, and the like.

The post-processor 150 may correct a color of each of at least two stereoscopic images and perform rectification of the at least two stereoscopic images.

The post-processor 150 may calculate camera parameters of the at least two cameras constituting the camera unit 110. The camera parameters may be verified using the camera control unit 120. Calculated camera parameters may be used to generate the depth image or depth information.

For a camera parameter calculation, the post-processor 150 may use the stereoscopic images, a set of feature points, and basic camera information. In the case of a color correction, the post-processor 150 may correct a color of each stereoscopic image using a color correction chart.

When white balance, black balance, a color temperature, and the like do not match between multi-view images generated by the intermediate image generator 170, the post-processor 150 may match a color between images using a color correction algorithm.

The depth information obtainment unit 160 may obtain depth information from the stereoscopic image.

The depth information obtainment unit 160 may generate the depth image by obtaining depth information associated with the stereoscopic image, according to a stereo matching scheme.

The depth information obtainment unit 160 may combine depth information obtained from the depth camera with a stereo matching scheme, and thereby obtain a depth image or depth information with respect to a more reliable stereoscopic image.

Also, the depth information obtainment unit 160 may obtain depth information using a segmentation area extraction and a stereo matching scheme.

In the case of the segmentation area extraction, an object and a background within an image may be initially segmented using a characteristic that a depth difference between a front view and a background of an initial depth image of the depth camera is greater than a depth difference between objects. Next, the segmentation area extraction may be performed through segmentation of a color image for each segmented object and background area.

In this instance, the depth information obtainment unit 160 may obtain more accurate depth information, that is, depth value with respect to segmentation areas having a similar color, however, having a different depth by using the extracted segmentation areas of the object and the background for depth information extraction based on the segmentation areas.



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Three-dimensional imaging method, installation implementing said method, method for configuring such an installation, computer programme implementing said method
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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20110149031 A1
Publish Date
06/23/2011
Document #
12857970
File Date
08/17/2010
USPTO Class
348 43
Other USPTO Classes
348 47, 348E13074, 348E13001
International Class
/
Drawings
8


Depth
Image Acquisition


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